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Take a Snow Day: Making Your Own Artisanal Coffee at Home

As we experience our first snow in Boulder and Denver, it becomes more tempting to stay in and brew our own coffee. While automatic drip machines are easy and convenient ways to make multiple cups of coffee at home, there are other types of brewing equipment that’ll help you produce your own delicious artisanal coffee. With the right tools, a tiny bit of patience, and a desire to learn, you can be your own barista during freezing cold days when you don’t want to venture out for your caffeine fix or if find your local coffee shop closed during a national holiday like today. Check out these different coffee makers, with links to brewing guides, to find your ideal coffee making method:


Photo courtesy of the Perspektivet Museum

Photo courtesy of the Perspektivet Museum


For Espresso Lovers

Although nothing but an espresso machine can truly make a shot of espresso, moka pots or stovetop “espresso” makers can brew small and concentrated cups of coffee with a similar taste and texture to an espresso shot. Moka pots create something similar to crema—the creamy foam that sits on top of freshly made espresso—which so many coffee drinkers love. Moka pots are popular in European homes, where it’s custom to drink espresso after a meal. If you’re looking for something more novel, you may want to invest in a Turkish Coffee pot, known as an ibrik or cezve. Popular in Turkey and Greece, Turkish Coffee is even stronger tasting than espresso since it is both a finer grind and thicker brew.


For Drip Coffee Drinkers

If you like the simplicity of drip coffee but are looking for a more nuanced taste, then the French Press may be the right coffee brewer for you. Also known as a Press Pot, the French Press is a simple device that uses a plunger and drainer to brew coffee. Some coffee sediment remains in the pot, resulting in a bolder taste than coffee made with an automatic drip. French Presses come in various sizes but all of them yield more than one cup of coffee so it’s great for when you want multiple cups.


For the Aficionados

When you’re ready to graduate to being a coffee nerd then you should invest in a pour-over device. Popular in Japan and third-wave coffee shops all over the world, pour-over coffee is made by meticulously pouring hot water onto freshly ground coffee using some type of funnel-like or cone-shapped pot. Chemex, V60, and Bee House are a few of the most popular pour-over devices. All of them require diligence from the brewer, especially when it comes to controlling water temperature and your timing. Pour-overs are actually fun to use, if you enjoy being crafty with your coffee. Pour-over coffee allows you to hit all the particular tasting notes of a single-origin or a blend, all in one clean, crisp, and virtually sediment-free cup.


There are so many great alternatives to the automatic drip machine, for when you’re snowed in with some extra time to brew coffee. But do not ever buy a coffee pod or single-serving coffee container machines. This is one of the few things I’m adamant about! Coffee pods are like glorified, over-priced instant coffee but worse. They are not environmentally friendly, since a ton of plastic is wasted, and the coffee inside is stale and of mysterious origins. Stick to real beans and more manual tools, if you are serious about good coffee. No matter what kind of brewing equipment you settle on, remember to buy freshly roasted beans from one of Colorado’s many local roasting companies.



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